One of the most common questions I have been hearing lately is about the use of menstrual cups. A menstrual cup is a reusable silicone or rubber cup that creates a seal around the cervix to collect blood from your cycle instead of using pads or tampons.
I had not tried them personally so my feedback was for each woman to use their judgment and base it on personal preference if they find it comfortable. Recently I re-posted an article written by a wonderful Australian physiotherapist and her (not so great) experience with them on Facebook. This sparked so much conversation that I decided I needed to give them a try myself so I could truly give my opinion when women ask.
I immediately went to Amazon and ordered one and waited. I waited patiently for it (I used Prime so only had to wait one day) and waited for my next cycle. Finally, when my cycle arrived (why can’t it be like Prime?), I was a bit intimidated and decided I wasn’t ready to try right away. Though I am all about reducing my carbon footprint, I just wasn’t ready to take the dive and try it at the time.
Two more cycles came and went and I was still using tampons. On the fourth cycle I thought ‘it’s now or never’. Armed with the cup and the instructions I was committed. The first attempt was overnight, as I wanted to just get my toes wet. I squished it down in the middle and inserted it but it didn’t quite feel right so out it came and I tried again. Overnight was a success with no leaks (yay!)
I had heard that the removal could be an issue, and feeling like you were pulling your organs out (which is what the article warned) but having spoken to a few other women’s health PT’s I knew the trick to pinch it to break the seal and the removal was fine.
The following month was when I had to truly commit! The easiest place for me to insert it was in the shower, but just as previously tried, it took two attempts to get the fit right. One of my Doula friends suggested sort of moving my hips to get it into the right place, like a hula dancer, I tried and voila! I was on my way.
I was told to just remove and dump the contents, then clean it and reinsert, easy enough in your own bathroom. What are you supposed to do in a public restroom? This was where I did not like it as much. I was at a wedding were the stall and sink were separate, I used some tissue paper to wipe it down but I think a tampon would have been a better option here.
According to the size chart of the Diva Cup (which I ordered) , if you are under 30 and have not had kids, then a size 1 is for you. If you have had kids or are over 30, then size 2. Now, I am a rebel (and like to think I am a lot younger than I am), I am over 30 but with no children and from previous experience I thought I would go ahead and try the smaller size. It seems to work well for me and create a seal but this tactic of making rebellious choices may not work for all. There is a great website for sizing and types of cups if you’re feeling less rebellious than I am and want to actually ensure an appropriate fit for you.
I think it really is personal preference, I am not going to throw the tampons away but I did like the convenience and not having to change it often. Inserting in the shower is the best option I’ve found for me.